This uber-simple, delicious recipe comes from the Japanese repertoire of yakitori, or grilled chicken, dishes. The basting liquid is called tare and brushing the chicken with this during cooking is an essential part of the dish. If you like, the mince mixture can also be formed into small balls, and 3 or 4 of these threaded onto each skewer (they should touch each other) instead of loading each with one long “sausage”.






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (41 votes)


  • 24 wooden skewers, soaked for 30 minutes in water then drained
  • 1 kg chicken mince, preferably thigh meat
  • 6 green onions, trimmed and very finely chopped
  • 75 g (¼ cup) red miso
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • mizuna leaves, lime wedges and steamed rice for serving

Basting sauce

  • 125 ml (½ cup) chicken stock
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) mirin
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 1 ½ tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp finely grated ginger

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


For the basting sauce, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until reduced by half. Remove from heat.

Combine the chicken mince, green onions, miso and sesame oil in a bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Using your hands, knead the mixture for 5 minutes or until smooth and slightly elastic. Divide the mixture into 24 even-sized pieces, then roll each into a ball. Using wet hands, shape each ball into a slightly flattened log about 12 cm long and 2 cm across. Thread a skewer through the middle of each. Heat a chargrill plate or a barbecue to medium. Brush the skewers lightly with marinade then cook, turning occasionally and brushing repeatedly with more marinade, for 5-6 minutes or until just cooked through.  

Serve with mizuna leaves, lime wedges and steamed rice.


Photography, styling and food preparation by china squirrel.